Help with Power rack and pinion for 1969 mustang 302v8 power steering?

Discussion in 'Classic Mustang Specific Tech' started by jasonkogan, May 28, 2009.


  1. jasonkogan

    jasonkogan New Member

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    Hi
    everyone
    I am new here!
    Please help if you have any advice:)

    I have a 1969 mustang coupe with a 302v8 power steering automatic c4 Trans project.

    I’m dealing with a lot of bump steering and would love to change out my steering gearbox and components to a power rack and pinion system. I see a lot on the market.

    Below is a link that discusses some of them from monthly magazine.

    Ford Mustang Rack And Pinion - Mustang Steering - Mustang Monthly

    Has anyone installed one before? What brand? And how did you like it compared to standard gearbox and valve components? Will I loose turn radius and how does that work?

    I have original steering column and wheel with horn ring that I don’t want to loose.
    Any advice would be great.

    Thanks:flag:
    JasonK
    #1
  2. j69302

    j69302 Active Member

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    I have the power TCP rack. Its the most expensive one but in my opinion it is well worth the money. It is a very well built peice.

    Everywhere I read said that I would loose turning radius, but after the conversion I could actually make sharper turns for U-turns and parking lots.

    You can keep your original column and wheel. All you have to do on a 69 is to drill a couple holes at the end of the column tube to mount a bearing to support the new slip shaft which comes with the TCP kit.

    It is much much better than the gear box. There is zero backlash. You move the wheel and the tires will go that direction.

    I have stock suspension and have zero bump steer.


    If you have full length headers, you might need to buy a couple of additional AN fittings. I actually made some hard lines out of .035 stainless aircraft tubing to make some sharp turns to get away from my headers then hooked my hoses up to that. If you have shorties then the 90* fittings that come in the kit should work fine.
    #2
  3. stonecoldtx

    stonecoldtx Member

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    One option that was *not* covered in that article, and one which IMHO is a far better choice is the AJE conversion:

    64-70 Mustang

    Not only do you get a power rack kit (which uses a standard Fox-body rack), you also get a tubular K-member, which provides additional space (the motor mounts are welded to the K-member, instead of being attached to the shock tower), and the K-member allows you to convert to struts so you can cut back the shock towers to gain more space.

    Addiitionally, you now have the ability to also add larger 13" Cobra brakes on the front, because the kit utilizes SN95 spindles.

    The best part is you don't have to use the struts that come in their kit, which gets the price of the K-member/rack kit down to quite a reasonable level.

    For example--I purchased the K-member, the tubular lower control arms and the rack kit, and it cost me a total of $1315 shipped to my door!

    I will be using a set of '94 struts with hubs I found in a salvage yard listed on car-parts.com for $90 shipped.

    I have a set of take-off front struts I bought several years ago as part of a struts & springs package for $75

    I'll be using a set of Fox-body Caster/Camber plates that I'll be modifying similarly to what MightyMouse has done with his strut conversion (search for "Tacoma Struts" to find the thread), and those will cost me around $125

    I'll also be using a set of coilovers for the struts which will cost me around $150

    I found a set of new Cobra front calipers on E-Bay for $100 shipped

    E-Bay also has a set of 13" Cobra rotors listed for $75 + shipping.

    Grand total to convert to tubular K-member with power rack kit, SN95 spindles and struts, 13" Cobra front brakes and coilover suspension: Less than $2000

    Only a couple of minor drawbacks:

    * They tell you that there is a six week timeframe before the kit will be received, because they custom build each one
    * You will have to use a rear sump (Fox body) oil pan, and figure out a way to add a dipstick if you're not using a roller block.

    Some additional benefits:

    * You can specify motor mounts for ANY engine (including blasphemous non-Ford engines, if you're so inclined)
    * Because the attachment points for the K-member are what supports the engine, and not the shock towers, you have the potential to lower the center of gravity for the engine just a bit, and that could be beneficial for handling
    * You can specify placement of the motor mounts, so if you want it futher forward or back or side-to-side, or even lower or higher, you can specify that

    Compare all the benefits listed above for the price for everything to convert with the price of JUST the rack kit of any of the other vendors, and I think you'll be able to see how good a value this really is . . .
    #3
  4. jasonkogan

    jasonkogan New Member

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    Hi everyone
    Thanks for the quick response

    J69302
    The TCP Power rack sound pretty good I heard a lot about it on other forums. Are the instructions really easy to follow? I have original exhaust manifolds on the engine.
    How’s it drive on top speeds?


    Stone coldTX
    I will take a look at this system as well. It's the first time I have heard of this company AJE conversion.
    Sounds good to.
    Have you guys heard of Maval or Randalls rack? And is it any good?

    Thanks
    Jasonk
    #4
  5. stonecoldtx

    stonecoldtx Member

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    AJE has been around for years--they have real big follwoing in the Fox and SN95 crowds.

    I've never heard of Maval, but everybody has heard of Randall's Racks . . .

    Which is why I posted what I did--the rack kit alone from Randalls is $1700 . . .

    Don't get me wrong--it's a quality kit, and I have nothing bad to say about it (other than the price) . . . but when you compare what you're getting with the AJE kit vs. what you get from anybody else's kit, the AJE setup is the best bang for the buck, IMHO.
    #5
  6. 5280/4

    5280/4 New Member

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    for a bolt in, the TCP rack is the best. I am currently working on designing a better design for my 65 falcon. The TCP rack requires me to notch my frame. i really dont want to do that. here is a pic of my CAD design. also i made an aluminum steering column and the TCP will not work with what i have.

    check out this thread i posted in. I have a pic attached there.

    http://forums.stangnet.com/785303-cheap-rack-pinion-conversion.html

    this is a manual woodward or appleton rack. the entire rack is offset towards the driver frame rail. this puts the pinion input away from the headers.
    the blue bracket is a bolt on piece that recenters the tie rods (gold pieces). so the rack is offset but the tierods are still centered in the chassis. i also might do a power conversion. But right now at 2750lbs my falcon doesnt need power anything. also much simpler.
    #6
  7. 5280/4

    5280/4 New Member

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    maval or unisteer is ok. I have heard there are issues with it fitting the headers. also a loss of turning radius will happen. randalls has the same issue.

    These racks use an OEM rack that ws designed for a car with shorter steering arms on the spindles. the stock mustang has almost 6.5" of steering travel. most new car OEM racks are around 5", thats alot of steering loss. any rack that has end links will absolutley not work in a older mustang/falcon/maverick. either the rack is so short that the radius is ridiculous or the bump steer is insane. just my opinion. but i have done a lot of research on this matter.

    Just to be honest, I have a 65 mustang drag car, i bought and installed the TCP manual rack just to clear my 1.75" headers. I was dissapointed that i lost a little bit of steering travel (buts its okay since its a drag car). about a 1/2" total loss. and the weight of the unit was more than stock. about 10 lbs heavier. but its a great strong rack. easy bolt in about an hour.
    #7
  8. bnickel

    bnickel Founding Member

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    randalls rack is a great system and had i not come across a nice used TCP on ebay i would have gotten the randalls rack kit.

    maval gear is another good rack kit, you've probably heard of them and just not known it, maval gear markets their rack conversion kits under the Unisteer name, and everyone has heard of the Unisteer rack kits. another good rack kit, however their kit is basically a copy of Randalls rack with a different crossmember and the cross member is actually very similar to the Flaming River crossmember. i will say this of all the rack kits on the market the one you want stay well clear of if the flaming bag of poo..errr...i mean Flaming River rack kit, you just think you have bumpsteer problems now, you would double those bumpsteer problems with the flaming river rack kit. i have yet to really find anyone that has had a good experience with their rack and of the very few that have said they have and have had no problems very rarely driver their cars and when they do they only cruise them or show them, they don't driver them hard and they probably have buyers denial too, you know when you buy something and even though it's a giant piece of crap you won't tell anyone because you're afraid you'll feel like a fool when people find out how much you paid for a pile of crap.....

    my choices would be listed in this order, 2,3 and 4 are a virtual tie, the differnce to me would be only in price. i list the RRS kit where it is only because i haven't really heard much feedback on it, but it's virtually the same rack as Randalls, Unisteer and Steeroids with minor differences, i do like their "Linear Tracking" device though, seems like that would be pretty good at eliminating deflection and reducing bumpsteer from flex in the center link. the AVE kit is lsted where it is because it does require that you cut the car up, the lower control arm mounts have to be cutoff. and griggs is where it is soley because of price

    1 TCP
    2 Randalls Rack
    3 Unisteer
    4 RRS
    5 Steeroids
    6 AJE
    7 Griggs
    8 Fatman
    9 mustang II
    10 any others besides Flaming River

    999,999 Flaming River
    #8
  9. jasonkogan

    jasonkogan New Member

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    Stone cold TX

    AJE does sound good for the money. I called TCP they want something around $2898 but like I said a lot of people love their products and I have heard no complaints. I have to call AJE to ask some questions.

    5280/4

    I have heard the same from other's on different forums about Randall’s that the radius from lock to lock was cut somewhat short on their units the turn radius I mean. Don’t want to loose anything but going to power rack is much better they say than what I have. I will check out your designs and would love to see the finished product :)

    Bnickel

    Like a lot of people say that TCP is the way to go. I like the line up. I would say about the same with the order. I have heard of RRs, steeroids, Flaming River but Griggs, Fatman and mustang II I don’t really know anything about, I will have to check them out when I can.

    It’s the modifications that have to be made to the Column or the car itself to accommodate the new rack and pinion I’m worried about. I have the original stock and wheel I want to keep.

    Thanks
    JasonK
    #9
  10. 5280/4

    5280/4 New Member

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    when i start building, i will share my results. thanks for the intrest.
    #10
  11. j69302

    j69302 Active Member

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    The instructions were very good. You can download them from TCP's website and read them before hand.

    It feels good at speed. my suspension bushings are relatively new and I put new outer and inner tie rods in when I installed it and there is no wandering of the car. You let go it stays straight until you tell it to turn. You call also by different pulley sizes and and flow valves for the powersteering pump to fine tune the feel you want, but the stock feel was very good.

    Driving through canyons or mountain roads with it is amazing. It has a tighter ratio than stock so you can go through those roads with small movements of the steering whel.
    #11
  12. unrealmach1

    unrealmach1 New Member

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    I went with Unisteer, but the car won't be road ready until late July(Knock on wood). When I bought it they claimed no turning loss and no bumpsteer. I think the quality is better than steeroids or randalls. TCP is nice but was too rich for my blood. I got my Unisteer through a promotion when they came out for under $1000. So far the install went good and the quality is excellent.
    #12
  13. jasonkogan

    jasonkogan New Member

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    J69302

    That sounds great I'll take a look at the install instructions from the tcp site and see.
    I will probably get brand new tie rod ends, might as well have everything new right. :)

    I’m still looking into some others as well, maybe on those sites I can download the instructions there too.

    Thanks
    Jasonk
    #13
  14. unrealmach1

    unrealmach1 New Member

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    I know my Unisteer came with tie rods, but not sure on TCP. I would think they supply them as well. Unisteer has their manual on the website.
    #14
  15. jasonkogan

    jasonkogan New Member

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    UnrealMach 1

    I will check it out. I dont think that the TCP power rack comes with new tie rod ends but i should probrably get new ones. I think MAVAL makes Unisteer. National parts Depot Sell them as a direct bolt in. Sounds great did you have to replace the exsiting Power steering pump if that's what you have? Is it a manual rack or power?

    Thanks
    Jasonk
    #15
  16. Rusty67

    Rusty67 Well-Known Member

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    Guys, correct me if I'm wrong but the R&P kits out there now don't really have better bump steer characteristics then the stock step do they ?

    There are a lot things you can do to a stock system to make it handle quite well. The main issues I see is if you don't like the stock power assist setup and still want a power steering setup.
    #16
  17. stonecoldtx

    stonecoldtx Member

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    Well . . . as far as conversions go, the AJE is the most "factory" of any of them, because it matches a Fox-body Rack and SN95 spindles, which is what you do when you install the M-2300-K Cobra Brake Upgrade onto a Fox Mustang.

    As such . . . I would think that this conversion kit would have the least amount of bumpsteer compared to the rest for this very reason.

    And yes, as bnickel noted, you need to remove the lower control arm mounts, but to be honest, if you're going to modify the car to the point where you're installing a rack & pinion conversion kit, I can't see removing them being an issue--if push came to shove, and one wanted to return the car to original, it's an easy re-installation by just welding them back in (if you take a look at a picture of a Classic Mustang engine compartment from the top, you'll see what I mean--I believe they're actually just part of the shock tower reinforcements).

    Anyway . . . that's my take--stock later model Mustang parts matched together and installed in a Classic Mustang.
    #17
  18. unrealmach1

    unrealmach1 New Member

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    The kit comes with a new pump, so I am using it. You are correct Maval is Unisteer. So far Maval has had the best customer service of any company I have dealt with.
    #18
  19. jasonkogan

    jasonkogan New Member

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    Unreal mach 1

    I will check Maval and Unisteer web site for the installation instructions, maybe it will give me a better idea what im looking at.

    I know the TCP R&P kit needs to have a new pump and the stock oem pump has to much of a high flow, but Its like 600 bucks. So 2089 + 600 bucks thats a lot of money!

    Thanks
    JasonK
    #19
  20. ETEL64

    ETEL64 Member

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    I am in the same process of determining a good R&P mnfr. TCP does have an impressive strong looking design and does weight more. I guess when I replace the A/C Comp I will shed some weight there.

    My question is: Power or non Power? 351W weight between towers.
    #20

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